Now do you know what love can do?
Oh no, what she puts me through?

Author's Note: A short ficlet for your reading pleasure! It's Booth/Brennan, what else? Please take the time to leave a constructive review. If you do, I'll give you Booth's gun or Hodgins' car, whichever you prefer.

"I think I'm in love with you, Bones."

His gruff voice fights into her haze and she feels a knife slicing through her heart, as if his words were the source.

Ah, but she is undone in his touch and this, this is the crux of her problem – she is no longer Temperance Brennan, but some awkward pansy of a slave in his shade, in his breast, tame and quiet. She is no longer the woman he has once fallen for, that mysterious, ice-cold scientist that would not look at him; can he not see that his passion is the undoing of its very object? She cannot be cold, she cannot be indifferent; she can't even think in his presence. Though her heart remains detached – she cannot, truly, say she loves him – she has desire in those veins, searing hot to destroy the glaciers he has so adored, long ago. How is she any different than the low-level woman that adores and worships her men, that pampers and seduces with the only object of pleasure? She is a woman, after all, and her whole body reacts to him – he is beautiful, but many others are, he is gracious, but so are they. He is Booth and that is what stirs her chest. Can he not see that he is her undoing?

Oh, how beautiful, those wide eyes of chocolate-brown! In some silly but undeniable urge, she touches his face and follows its path, studies every corner, every line of his skin – every curve and shadow of brown and gold and black and gray, all entwined to a single, whole sight. She looks into his eyes, as he wishes, but she knows he is honest to the core – it makes no difference, however, to how she feels, how she must, to her dying day, protect him from her – from her own unrestrained vice, her rejection, her very nature; how can she do otherwise? This is what others could not see; that though she is rough, powerful, indifferent, there is a core of honey, a weakness spot, that makes her mad with desire and love – yes, her own fashion of love – for him and him alone. There is no other to Temperance, there is no hope; she's doomed already.

"You deserve all the joy, all the best in this world – and that I can't give you. I'm not worthy, Booth. I couldn't possibly be. But I know enough that there's no point in calling you to reason. You're a stubborn chauvinist, all nerves and feelings."

Yet, she can't see anything, can't do anything but listen to every flagrant heartbeat, her cheek pressed to his chest, the whole of her body and muscles relaxed and quiet, just basking in his very presence. He has no idea what he's just done, with his tameness, his compliance, and this thought is enough to rouse her violence, her desire and she pulls him close as he challenges her – very well, then.

"Why do you run from me? You retreat into your mind, your work. Why are you afraid of me, of this? I can't return to a life where I'm bound to being merely used as spent just one night, one time, for one reason or another."

His voice is commanding, but breathless in wonderment and adrenaline as his hand glides down the arch of her neck; he is there, in the intimacy of an embrace, a grit of skin upon skin that does not displease him in the least.

Then, she laughs. She doesn't know why – but she does and this time there is quiet, there is peace. She's broken already and when she shifts so lightly to further embrace him and hold him close, she knows that he has somehow managed to worm his way into her very soul, to nestle there; there is the simple celebration of his taste, her drowning in him.

"You could hardly be a one-night stand, Seeley," and even this rather pejorative comment is unintended; she makes it tender in her voice, as it rolls from her tongue. What's the use in fighting? She's doomed anyway.

"I do it for your sake, that's all. Because I want you – because I need you, and that alone is enough for me to know it can't possibly work. Reason isn't a strong point in my family either," and in saying so, she rests once more in such intimacy, in such quiet. He has no idea.

"It's not only physical, Booth. Hell, it isn't."